Retaliation Against Relatives Illegal

     The EEOC recently filed a lawsuit against Philips Lighting for firing an employee after Philips learned that the employee was the grandson of a former employee who had filed a lawsuit against the company.  Philips hired Jake Lee Velasquez to work as a security guard at its lighting facility in Salina, Kansas.  On the first day of work, Velasquez was fired after he was recognized to be the grandson of a former employee with a pending discrimination suit against the company.  The EEOC says that Philips specifically referenced Velasquez’s grandfather in forbidding Velasquez from returning to work.  Philips alleged actions violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits retaliatory actions by employers that would discourage employees from complaining about discrimination.  See Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Philips Lighting, No. 2:15-cv-9296 (D. Kan.).

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